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After two years of disappointment, home-town Porsche driver Kevin Weeks is poised to win his first Aeromil Pacific Classic Adelaide Rally tomorrow.

Weeks, and co-driver Bec Crunkhorn, retained their lead for a third day and managed to extend it by 5.2 seconds to a total of 23.3 seconds over second place, now occupied by the five-time rally winners Rex Broadbent and Michael Goedheer.

Jim Richards and Barry Oliver hold third spot, 14 seconds in arrears, ahead of Roger Paterson and Paul Whatnell.

The first four cars all are Porsches, while Victorians Steve Hoinville / Robert Gilpin and their 1973 Ford Escort are in fifth.

After yesterday’s run of six “cleaned” stages the pressure on the leading group in the fastest class, Late Classic, went up dramatically.

Sydney brothers Adam and David Kaplan crashed out of second place when their Giocattolo Group B coupe left the road 2.5 km into Norton Summit, the fourth of nine stages today. They were unhurt but their rare Australian sports car was withdrawn with severe damage.

Broadbent and Richards inherited second and third places, respectively, but appear to have little chance of catching the leader in the final 88 km and eight stages tomorrow.

However, Weeks remains cautious after failing to finish the last two years’ Classic Adelaides, also from a strong position.

“The gap is okay as long as we don’t have a problem. A spin would be all that would be needed to put Rex right on our tail,” he said.

South Australian driving instructor Cameron Wearing, with Rebecca Cochrane alongside, put his experience to good use by opening his lead in the Classic class of the Competition category.

Fords hold the podium positions, with Wearing and his Capri Perana V8 a massive 1 minute 16.6 seconds ahead of Len and Gayle Cattlin in a Ford Mustang Boss 302, and Bill Brentzell / Peter Stringfellow third, a further 38.5 seconds down in their Ford Mustang Shelby GT350.

Day Four, sponsored by Alliance Airlines, is over nine stages and will be the longest so far.

Eight competitive stages total 88 kms, with the longest, Paris Creek Long, accounting for almost 25 kilometres just before the lunch stop at McLarens on the Lake.

The first car is due at the finish in Adelaide’s East Terrace just after 1.30 pm tomorrow.

RESULTS – DAY THREE (sponsored by Malaysia Airlines)

Top 5 – Competition category

Late Classic class

1. Kevin Weeks (SA) / Bec Crunkhorn (SA) 1975 Porsche 911 RSR - 4 min. 02.1 sec. behind target time  
2. Rex Broadbent (Vic.) / Michael Goedheer (Vic.) 1974 Porsche 911 RS – 4.25.4
3. Jim Richards (Vic.) / Barry Oliver (Tas.) 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup – 4.39.4
4. Roger Paterson (SA) / Paul Whatnell (SA) 1974 Porsche 911 RS – 5:46.2
5. Steve Hoinville (Vic.) / Robert Gilpin (Vic.) 1973 Ford Escort RS – 4:55.8

Classic class

1. Cameron Wearing (SA) / Rebecca Cochrane (SA) 1971 Ford Capri Perana – 6:24.6
2. Len Cattlin (Vic.) / Gayle Cattlin (Vic.) 1969 Ford Mustang – 7:41.2
3. Bill Brentzell (SA) / Peter Stringfellow (Qld) Ford Mustang 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 – 8:20.3

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